Listen Here, Motherfucker

People are always asking me why Graham and I don’t live together.  To them, it’s incomprehensible that two people can be in a relationship for several years without living together; it’s like there’s an alarm that goes off around the two year mark, and if you don’t start cohabiting, You As A Couple are over.

To those people, I say “hey, fuck you and your narrow-minded expectations of what a relationship should be.”  Or, if allowed to get all Maury with it, I say “YOU DON’T KNAAAAAW ME!”

I like living alone.  I’ve liked it ever since I can remember.  When I was married, my now ex-husband was in the military and gone on deployment for the majority of the time.  Instead of moping around the house and wondering why I was so lonely, I figured out that I liked being alone more than I liked being with him.  When I got divorced and moved back to St. Louis, I spent three years living on my own before I even met Graham, and the next three years after meeting Graham deciding that I still wasn’t ready to move in with him yet.  In fact, it wasn’t until very recently – when I got serious about buying a house – that I even considered the idea of moving in together.  And even then I had reservations.  Not about whether or not I could share the space; one of the reasons I wanted to wait until I had a house was because of the extra space, meaning that one person could hide in the basement and the other person could hide in the yard if necessary.

My reservations were of the Oprah-ish kind.  This is my house.  It’s my money.  Don’t I want to live in it by myself first?  That’s the liberated thing to do or something.  I got over that pretty quickly because a) it is a big enough pain in the ass to move yourself, let alone yourself once and then someone else a few months down the road, and b) Graham’s landlord is a psychotic moron who doesn’t see why his tenants should want a working refrigerator.

So we will live together.  Eventually.  Hopefully sooner rather than later.  But still, I’m fine with living alone.

Living alone for so long has allowed me to indulge in the kind of behavior that, when reflected upon, is terrifying to exhibit in the real world.  For example, I have a tendency to make brief exclamations with little to no reasonable cause.  If you were my neighbor and the walls here were thinner, you might be occasionally disturbed by words and phrases like “What on earth?!” or “Truck Nuttz?!”

When I do speak quietly (to myself), I tend to have entire conversations complete with opposing facial expressions.  It doesn’t dawn on me that I’m doing this until the person next to me at a stoplight has been staring for awhile and I realize that it’s way too late to pretend I’ve been singing to the radio the whole time.

And you do not even want to hear me talk to animals.  Including the ones that don’t belong to me.

Basically, living along has turned me into a crazy person in public.  I don’t have crazy thoughts about mind control or aliens or homicide, I just appear to be crazy because there’s no filter between my Logical Brain and my Single Person Habits.  This is not to say that I’m insane all the time.  For the most part, I’m able to maintain a convincing veneer of sanity.  It’s how I have a job and can drive a car.  But there are choice times, most notably like today in the bathroom at work, when I learn that I have no business being in public.

I’d just gotten off of a shitty phone call.  Some guy called and was really rude and nasty for no good reason, except that the person he asked for no longer worked at the company.  I was very polite about it and apologized, but something in him just snapped and he started going off about all these things that had nothing to do with me or my company, which led me to consider suggesting that maybe he take a job that did not involve telesales.

I was still fuming about it when I took my break.  I was having an argument with the guy in my head, and as I reached for the stall door, I was just at the part where I say, “Listen here, motherfucker!”

I said it out load.  Barely.  It was the tiniest whisper, but it still came out of my mouth.  My lips moved.  A sound exited them.  And there was someone in the stall next to mine.

Slamming the stall door shut, I decided that I would just have to remain seated on that toilet until the person next to me left.  She may not have heard me, but honestly, I would rather have audibly farted in that stall than have been heard whispering “Listen here, motherfucker!” in the work bathroom to no one but myself.  This is what living alone has done to me.  I’ve become so inured to my crude, obnoxious, disgusting self that I don’t even notice when I’m being that way until it’s too late and I’ve creeped out some poor woman who had to pee outside of her lunch break.

Jesus.  I deserve to be alone.  I deserve to sit in my house and eat garlic bread for dinner and watch old Saturday Night Live episodes in between sets of sit ups, where I pull my shirt over my belly and wonder why it’s not getting any thinner, and then I drink half a beer and consider just not brushing my teeth because I’m too tired.  But I do anyway, because of the garlic bread.

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About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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One Response to Listen Here, Motherfucker

  1. I am absolutely laughing out loud at this post, perhaps because I see so much of my pre-cohabitating self in this story. There is no joy quite like that of living alone and the freedom it allows.

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